The Anglican Bishop for Prisons, the Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, and the Domestic Abuse Commissioner, Nicole Jacobs, visited the Nelson Trust Women’s Centre in Gloucester and HMP Eastwood Park.
Research shows that over 60 per cent of women in prison have experienced childhood trauma and domestic abuse. Tragically, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, this number is on the increase. Nicole Jacobs and Bishop Rachel spent time with women at the Nelson Trust and Eastwood Park to hear their stories and to learn more about what is being done to respond to the experiences and needs of women in the criminal justice system.
Bishop Rachel said, “Listening to the stories of these women has, as always, been a poignant privilege. Each woman has their own story to tell, which needs to be listened to and understood. As Anglican Bishop to Prisons and President of the Nelson Trust, it was a delight to enable the Domestic Abuse Commissioner to hear from both the Nelson Trust and HMP Eastwood Park about how they support women with multiple challenges, working to reduce reoffending and responding to the needs of each woman as a unique individual.”
The Domestic Abuse Commissioner, Nicole Jacobs, said: “We know that the majority of women in prison are victims of domestic abuse and are often unfairly criminalised for offences resulting directly from their experience of abuse. That is why we have been calling for a statutory defence for domestic abuse victims facing criminal prosecution.”
“It was an honour to hear directly from survivors about their experiences and to hear about the support they are getting from the Nelson Trust Women’s Centre and HMP Eastwood Park. Thanks very much to the Rt Revd Rachel Treweek for all of work she is doing to support victims.”